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Empowering women and promoting gender equality  in the workplace  in Iraq  

TUC Aid project
Report type
Research and reports
Issue date
Project summary

Empowering women and promoting gender equality in the workplace in Iraq   2020 - 2022

Budget: £11,893

TUC Aid worked with the General Federation of Iraqi Trade Unions (GFITU) and the International Trade Union Confederation to deliver a project aimed at empowering women workers, and promoting their rights in workplaces, communities and homes. The project focused on training and education, organising workers, campaigning against the structural causes of gender discrimination, and tackling the serious problem of violence and harassment against women in the workplace.  

Project activities 

  • Training and education for trade union representatives from different sectors on women’s rights, national legislation, the Iraqi Labour Code, and international labour standards including Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment. 

  • Publication and dissemination of a booklet on the Iraqi Labour Code 

  • Setting up of study circles by trained trade union representatives with support from the General Federation of Iraqi Trade Unions. 

  • Funding training for one trade union representative at the ITUC’s Organising Academy, Tunis. 

  • Distribution of educational materials about women’s rights and tackling violence and harassment. 

  • Building a network of activists to promote women’s rights in the workplace and wider community. 

  • Produce videos challenging violence and harassment to share on social media. 

Project outcomes

  • Training materials covering e.g. women’s rights, coronavirus and eliminating violence against women, stopping sexual harassment at work, national legislation, ILO standards (including Convention 190) and health and safety,  were developed.  

  • 33 trade unionists (28 women and 5 men) from different sectors were trained through two workshops, using the aforementioned training materials. 

  • Following the training, 15 female participants were elected into leadership positions in their unions. 

  • 3000 copies of a booklet on the Iraqi Labour Code were produced and used during the training, in study circles (see below) and distributed in workplaces.  

  • The project funded one female trade unionist to take part in the ITUC’s Organising Academy in Tunis. 

  • Study circles, led by training participants, took place in ten governates and reached 200-300 women in diverse sectors including textiles, transport, mechanics and ports. Discussions included Iraqi labour law, women’s rights and tackling gender-based violence. 

  • More than 150 women were organised into unions.  

  • GFITU mobilised unions in Baghdad and the provinces to carry out an awareness raising campaign to tackle violence against women and to promote women’s rights – this involved producing 1000 posters, and videos to use on social media.  

Video testimonials from the project:


Graphic design from the project

Poster design from project with Arabic writing
Poster design from project which says "Iraqi women resist extremism"
Poster design from project which says "stop gender based violence"
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